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Coffee Franchise Opportunities: Does Starbucks Franchise?... and Other Coffee Business Franchises

Aug 17, 2007
Does the aroma of brewing coffee transport you to a sensory paradise? Is a steaming latte your idea of comfort food? Do you consider coffee its own separate food group? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then a coffee franchise may be for you! When someone says "coffee shop," the name that most often comes to mind is Starbucks. So it's only natural that coffee connoisseurs and entrepreneurs will immediately want to know if this wildly successful java chain offers the opportunity to buy Starbucks franchises.

Despite its seemingly ubiquitous presence the Starbucks brand does not franchise or sub-franchise its operations. Rather, the company operates most North American Starbucks stores. The exception to this is situations in which Starbucks will enter into an agreement with companies that may provide physical locations that might otherwise not be available to Starbucks, such as space in airports, grocery chains, hospitals, and on college and university campuses. In addition, in certain areas, Starbucks may enter into an agreement with a group of individuals or a company in which the company or group is permitted to manage and operate Starbucks outlets within a certain region.

The unavailability of Starbucks franchises, however, should in no way dissuade the coffee lover from pursuing a coffee franchise business opportunity. There are numerous coffee companies that do, indeed, franchise their operations, and many even venture beyond the traditional coffee bean to provide gourmet coffees, food options, and even catering services.

The following represents a partial listing of the many coffee franchise opportunities available to java lovers everywhere.

Caffino

With its "60-second guarantee," Caffino is a drive-through coffee bar that first opened its company doors in 1993 in Napa, California. Franchising since 2003, Caffino currently has 27 locations in 3 states, and it is actively expanding. Caffino prides itself on roasting its coffee on-site using only the world's best coffee beans, Arabica Grade 1. The startup cost for a Caffino franchise ranges from $212,900 to $373,000.

Beaner's Coffee

Founded in 1994 and franchising since 1999, Beaner's Coffee offers a variety of the coffee beverages made from flavored, decaf, signature, organic, and fair trade beans. In addition, Beaner's goes beyond coffee service and ventures into the world of sandwiches, salads, and baked goods. Beaner's carries a startup cost of $240,000 to $300,000 and offers the option of express or kiosk franchises. Beaner's is currently seeking franchisees nationwide, and for its franchise owners, exclusive territories are available.

Woody's Chicago Style

Coffee and hot dogs? Not your typical combination, but Woody's Chicago Style has no problem combining the two. Begun in Honolulu, Hawaii, Woody's Chicago Style is a hot dog, beverage, and coffee cart business that has been franchising its operations since 1991. While franchises are not currently available in every state, Woody's is seeking franchisees in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Washington, and Wyoming. And with a price tag ranging from $54,100 to $464,000, Woody's just may be the right option for your pocketbook!

Scooter's Coffeehouse

With franchise opportunities existing both in the United States and worldwide, Scooter's Coffeehouse ranked #26 in Entrepreneur.com's 2007 listing of the top new franchises. In business since 1998 and franchising since 2002, Scooter's is a specialty coffee franchise that also serves up brewed coffees, espressos, flavored coffees including sugar-free options, teas, and a wide selection of smoothies. Startup cost ranges from $60,000 to $410,000, and, in addition to training, Scooter's offers significant ongoing and marketing support, including regional advertising, national media, field operations/evaluations, purchasing cooperatives, newsletter, meetings, and a grand opening.

Dunkin Donuts

Who doesn't recognize this household name in the coffee and donut industry? Established in 1950 and franchising since 1955, Dunkin Donuts now boasts more than 7,000 stores worldwide, including 1900 locations in 30 countries. In the United States, more than 5,200 Dunkin Donuts locations dot the landscape in 36 states. Based on years of operation and experience, Dunkin Donuts has a 5-phase franchising process, which begins with an application, credit check, and criminal background check, among other things, proceeds through several steps including an interview, business plan development, application approval, training, site location, and financing, and ends with restaurant construction and crew training. To ease financing costs, Dunkin Donuts has partnered with preferred lenders who offer franchisees flexible financing options, including Small Business Administration (SBA)-backed loans for certain transactions.

In addition to the five coffee franchise opportunities briefly profiled above, no fewer than twenty franchise opportunities exist for entrepreneurs seeking to turn their coffee passion into a profession.

From Cafe Ala Carte cappuccino catering service and Grabbajabba gourmet coffee and European sandwiches to It's a Grind Coffee House and Maui Wowi Hawaiian Coffee and Smoothies, numerous coffee franchises ranging from low-cost to high investment are available for serving up that morning cup of Joe, mid-day sandwich on the run, or afternoon tea or smoothie.

So next time you walk into your neighborhood coffee shop to fill your latte craving, imagine providing that same satisfaction to other coffee lovers like you... and even better yet, making a living at it!
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